The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says President Muhammadu Buhari has not acted in breach of any law on the Supreme Court order in respect of the naira redesign policy.
The minister stated this at the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Thursday in Abuja.
Malami affirmed that the federal government did not act contrary to the law of the federation, saying ”as far as the rule of law is concerned, there are many options available”.
The minister, who spoke extensively on the benefits of electoral reforms, noted that ”it is only the Buhari’s administration that has exercised the political will to enhance democratic practice through legislative, political, and administrative interventions.”
Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, had openly condemned and denigrated the implementation of the naira swap policy.
They asked people in their states to continue to spend the old N500 and N1000 as legal tenders.
However, the minister said: ”We are not in breach of any order made by the court, inclusive of any order associated with the naira redesign.
“I’m not a banker, but you have not gone to establish which bank is it that you have gone to present N1000 or N500 notes that have been rejected; so we are not in breached of any ruling.
“But then, assuming we are in breach, the fact remains that this matter is sub-judice, as you rightly know. It’s being contested before the Supreme Court and when an order is made, you have multiple options within the context of the rule of law.
”You are entitled as a matter of right, if the facts and evidence support your position, to apply for setting it aside.
”The position of the law, and legal jurisprudence is clear, once you are attacking and you seeking a setting aside of an existing order of the court, cannot be said to be operating in breach when you presented your application for setting aside.
“If the court is not an apex court, you equally have a right to appeal and support the right of appeal with an application for a Stay of Execution Order.
”So, if the matter is sub-judice and within the context of the rule of law, we are doing the needful as a government, in terms of ensuring that the right of the government, within the context of the naira redesign, is being protected.
”So we are not in breach.”
On the fate of the governors allegedly inciting citizens against the currency redesign policy, Malami said all those inciting the public would be investigated for treasonable utterances by the security agencies soon.
According to him, relevant security agencies will determine if there will be a need for further action after investigation.
Malami highlighted the importance of the redesign policy, which he said would enable citizens to assume collective ownership of the electoral system rather than allowing a few moneybags to take charge.
According to the minister,the policy is designed to allow freedom of choice and also fight corruption. (NAN)